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Monthly Newsletter - November 2009

Happy Thanksgiving! As you gather with your loved ones, we hope you’ll share Marian Wright Edelman's Thanksgiving prayer to end poverty in our time – beginning with children.

Health Reform Confusing You? Use Our Guide!

In this season of thanks, we'd like to take the time to thank you for all that you’ve done over the past year to give a strong and unwavering voice to children in America. Your emails, calls and letters to your Senators and Representatives and attendance at our recent Champions for Children's Health Stroller Brigades have helped send a clear and steady message to Congress that children should be better off, not worse off, after health reform.

Holiday Placemat Conversation GuideThis Thanksgiving and throughtout the holiday season, we hope you enjoy time with your friends and family. We also ask that you use this season to spread the word about the need for real child health reform as Congress finalizes its health reform legislation. Sharing information about protecting children in health reform and encouraging others to contact their Members of Congress will help amplify our voice for children so their needs can be addressed. We've made it easy for you with our downloadable holiday placemat discussion guide! Just put this discussion guide under your Thanksgiving dinner plate as a convenient reference for dinner table conversation.

Rest up over Thanksgiving, because December will be a busy month! As our recent Legislative Update explains, after Thanksgiving, the Senate will begin consideration of its health reform bill and the debate could last until Christmas or beyond. We'll be looking for your help to reach our goal of preventing the repeal of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 2013, as the House health reform bill would do, which would mean the movement of as many as 10 million children to a new, untested and more expensive Health Insurance Exchange where parents of children in CHIP will end up paying more for fewer benefits for their children. Instead, in the Senate we must fully fund and strengthen CHIP through 2019. We'll be back in contact with you right after Thanksgiving to let you know how you can help protect children in health reform!

Protect 35,000 New York Children from Losing Health Coverage

Support health coverage for all childrenCDF-NY has been working hard to make sure that Congress protects the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Unfortunately, our battle to protect children's coverage will now be on two fronts: the national and state level. As part of deficit reduction negotiations, New York legislators have proposed to reduce Children's eligibility for Child Health Plus. This proposal, if enacted, would immediately leave 35,000 children in working families without health coverage.

Proposals to cut Child Health Plus are short-sighted and ill-timed. During these tough economic times as parents lose their jobs and employers fail to provide coverage, families have turned to the Child Health Plus Program as a critical safety net.

New York’s Legislators should not be balancing the budget on the backs of children. We call on New Yorkers to contact the Governor, your State Senator and Assemblyperson and urge them to reject proposals to cut Child Health Plus eligibility levels. For more information, visit our website.

Holiday CardsSend Holiday Cards to Support Children

During this special season, CDF is offering you a simple way to make a difference in a child's life by purchasing holiday cards. Your support will not only help many vulnerable children but allow you to send a message of hope and peace to your friends and family. Choose from five colorful, child-themed cards from CDF. Please purchase your cards and make an additional contribution to help ensure all children a better 2010.

For Only $15 Purchase a Pack of 12 Colorful CDF Cards

CDF Awards Extraordinary Youths with Scholarships

Beat the Odds Awards WinnersOn November 10, at the 2009 Beat the Odds® Awards Dinner, CDF honored five outstanding Washington, D.C. area students—Nathan Cabrera, Kapria Lee, Nakea Paige, Rebecca Parish and Crystal Ramirez—who have demonstrated academic excellence and have the strength and determination to "beat the odds." The awards ceremony was held at the W Hotel in downtown Washington and was hosted by Ali Wentworth and George Stephanopoulos. CDF was honored to present each of the honorees with a $10,000 scholarship. View photos from the event and read the stories of the winners on our website.

CDF-NY also held their 2009 Beat the Odds Awards Breakfast this month. CDF-NY honored four remarkable young women—Gabriela Calahorrano, Billy Rodriguez, Simone Washington and Shanna Williamson—with $5,000 scholarships. At the benefit held in Manhattan, Byron Pitts, CBS chief national correspondent and contributing correspondent for "60 Minutes," gave an inspirational keynote address, and Dr. William Pollard, president of Medgar Evers College, presented the honorees with their awards.

CDF-CA will hold their 19th Annual Los Angeles Beat the Odds Awards on December 3 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Learn more about this event on our website.

New Fostering Connections Website 

Foster CareCDF continues to work to ensure that the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, signed into law last October, will truly benefit children. This legislation represents the most significant reforms in more than a decade for children who are abused and neglected and in foster care. CDF staff submitted written testimony to Congress in September about activities states are undertaking to implement this legislation and has also collaborated with work groups in several states that have come together to promote implementation. CDF is also now the Kinship Care Lead Network Partner for the newly established Fostering Connections Resource Center, a website that provides information, training and tools designed to promote implementation of the Fostering Connections law. The Resource Center aims to connect public officials, agency and court staff, legislators and advocates with the good work going on across the country.

New Advocacy Resources for Early Childhood Development

Be sure to check out the new content on CDF's Early Childhood Education and Child Care webpage. Read our fact sheet on how health reform will affect America’s youngest children, or see how you can help to raise awareness about the effects of poverty during early childhood. Also read our latest Early Childhood Legislative Update for a brief description of the recent bills that directly affect early childhood development.


© 2009, Children's Defense Fund, 25 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 | 1 (800) 233-1200 | Unsubscribe
The Children's Defense Fund's Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.

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